Lost In The Trees

Feeling a little house-bound recently, I went out for a drive after dinner. Cruising some backroads that I have not been on before, I saw a glimmer of light in the trees beside the road. A closer look… it’s an old travel-trailer that has been abandoned to the elements. It had sort of an early sixties Jetson’s space age chic to it. Very much out of place in the Canadian woods, this trailer would have been at home on a thruway, towed by a big Detroit convertible, on it’s way to a national park.

Lost In Canada

The setting sun and shadows from the trees provided dramatic lighting inside the trailer.

No Lights Allowed

A refrigerator and old bed springs provide some found art.

Cold Trail
Blue Spring

Stone Skeleton

Another storm system is approaching southern Ontario on a late winter day. *sigh* I was trolling some back-roads trying to find the ruins of an old abandoned house I had heard about. I missed it the first time by, but caught sight of it on the second pass. The stonework and the way it had weathered reminded me of  a scene from post WWII Europe.  This shot looking through a window to a door to another window reminds me of a Led Zeppelin album cover.


The storm clouds were building as the front neared. They provided a very moody backdrop to this long shot of the ruin.

Eye Of The Storm

Elora in the rain.

Hmmm. Raining again… must be time to go out and do some shooting! I went to Elora and walked along the river bank. The view of the back of the main street buildings is interesting. Seemed very old and very European to my eye. I processed it in B&W adding heavy grain and a vignette to add to the sense of age.

Behind main street.

A bit further along the river comes a nice view of the Elora Mill. It was starting to rain harder, adding a bit of texture to the water and making the distant trees start to disappear in the mist.

Elora Mill in the rain.

Behind me on the river bank was a storm drain with an interesting formation of ice around it.

Embraced by icy hands.

There are the remains of an old industrial building on this side of the river. About all that is left of it are four walls (held up by braces) and a brick chimney.

Lonely in brick.

And one final shot… there was a puddle of water in a hole in the foundation that reflected the stack nicely.

Smoke on the water.

A River Town’s Industrial Past

It was a rainy spring day here in Southern Ontario… a perfect day to get out and take some photos. I spent the day in Fergus, walking the alleys and the river front to check out all the old stone buildings from the town’s river-driven industrial heyday of 100 years ago.

Green Doors
Mill and waterfall
A closer view of the mill

Old Hardware

I recently visited an abandoned house that was far enough out-of-the-way that it had avoided being vandalized. There were beautiful ceramic knobs on most of the doors, their shiny clean finish a stark contrast to the rusted hardware they were attached to.


In one room there was a weathered plaster wall that was empty except for a single switch plate in the center. Originally, I intended to show it pretty much as-is, but the idea of adding a little whimsy to animate this stark scene came to me before I was done and resulted in this:

Stray Current

Downtown Time

I was downtown on Thursday to drop by the Rouge Contemporary Gallery and check out their Judy Chicago exhibition. As always (well, almost always) I had my camera with me and went for a walk in the Queen/Carlaw area after seeing the exhibit. Here in Toronto we have had several relatively warm days that melted much of the accumulated snow. This reveals a curious collection of debris that had been hidden in the snowbanks. This is the part of winter that really makes me wish for spring! I converted these to black & white to show the textures, accent the clouds and most of all – to reflect my mood. I overlaid a bit of colour here and there to provide a focal point.

Carlaw Colours

It was a great sky for photography – lots of ominous clouds. The clouds provided a great back-drop for the back of a brick building, framed (held down?) by the trees on either side.

Seen From The Alley

Are photos a reflection of our feelings?

A friend pointed out one day how my photos seemed to cycle from dark and dreary to bright and cheery in sync with my moods. I hadn’t really thought about it too much until then, but I suppose it makes sense that my emotions and feelings would find their way into my art. I looked back over several months worth of photos and there really does seem to be a correlation with mood. For instance, I had been having a good time when I took the shot of the kayaks on the Toronto waterfront. The splash of bright colour was the focus of my photo.

Kayaks and Ice

And on this day, I had been prowling around some abandoned houses in the countryside. It had been a good day with many promising photos taken. Hence a photo with a bit of whimsy seemed appropriate. The title occurred to me before I took the shot.


On the flip side, I was out snowshoeing in the woods last week. It was cold and a strong wind had been blowing all day. It had snowed almost every day for the past two weeks. When the sun DID come out, it felt distant and weak. When I saw the snow blowing across the stubble of a cornfield when driving home, I had to stop and capture it. It had to be B&W. It had to be dark. Do you think I’ve had enough winter already???

Distant Sun

Is it just me? I suspect not. Do you see your emotions of the moment in your work too?

Little Door Blue

This is a photo I took last summer of a curious little building that had been built onto the back of a much larger building on the Stelco property in Hamilton. I liked the contrast of the faded blue of the door against the worn red brick of the building.

Little Door Blue (original version)

I recently revisited this photo to see if I could improve on it with a more severe processing. I like the result. What do you think?

Little Door Blue (revised)

A romp in the snow.

I was getting a litle crazy this week. Snow… then cold… then more snow… and back to cold. I decided to make the best of it by taking a hike in the local countryside to see what beauty I could find. On a hike to Cataract Falls (near the Forks of the Credit here in Ontario) I came across an old silo and barn foundation. Couldn’t see much of the foundation because of the deep snow, but the silo stood tall.

Three Windows

A couple of days later (on a recommendation from a friend) I visited the Badlands near Inglewood. I have photographed these many times in the spring, summer and fall… but it had never occurred to me to take a look at them in the winter. A heavy layer of snow transformed the rough and rugged Badlands into a sea of sinuous curves. It was early morning when I was there, so the low angle of the sun provided wonderful shadows to complement the snowy curves. A very quick hour later, I was 100 photographs richer. Here is a small sampling:

The tree above
River of Blue
Waterfall of Light